- Val d’Orcia is an exceptional example of how the landscape was redesigned in the Renaissance period to reflect the ideals of good governance and to create an aesthetically pleasing image.
- Furthermore, the landscape of the Val d’Orcia was celebrated by painters of the Sienese school, which flourished during the Renaissance. Images of the Val d’Orcia – and particularly depictions of landscapes in which people are depicted as living in harmony with nature – have become icons of the Renaissance and have profoundly influenced the development of landscape thinking in future years.
Imposing stone and lush beech forests, alleys that climb into the heart of the medieval Tuscany and panoramas that open the eye on the volcanic massif called Mount Amiata and on the generous vine plantations that surround it.
Fifteen minutes by car or motorcycle from the Hotel More di Cuna Montalcino is displayed in all its histrionic, varied magnificence, a true jewel of the Val d’Orcia. Inside, hand in hand to the side roads that run along the slope on which it is built the village, cross glimpses of a powerful and evocative past and prospects of a curated contemporary elegance .
All around, nature in its more benign form: rolling hills, green meadows , fairy-like forests and, above all, rich vineyards, secular resource for the inhabitants of the region and magnanimous source of a wine known and appreciated throughout the world as culinary excellence, the famous Brunello, Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin (DOCG).
A precious mosaic of artistic, historical, cultural and environmental treasures that led UNESCO, in 2003, to declare the town and the whole valley a World Heritage Site, according to different, specific criteria among which stand out, for clarity and effectiveness, the fourth and the sixth :
July – The banquet at the castle
July – The medieval festival
The Monteriggioni Medieval Festival is an unmissable appointment Tuscan summer. In the magnificent scenery of the town wall of Monteriggioni for two weekends recreating the atmosphere and the setting of a medieval village with its military garrisons, artisans, nobles and commoners.
Located at the northern end of its municipal area, Monteriggioni occupies the top of a gentle hill from the slopes cultivated with vineyards and olive trees.
The castle was founded in the second decade of the thirteenth century by the Republic of Siena, with the main purpose of creating a defensive outpost against rival Florence. For centuries, the settlement took place in the middle of the function for which it was created, rejecting each time a myriad of sieges and attacks.
The Medieval Festival returns to light the historical center of Monteriggioni, a beautiful village in the north of the city of Siena, crossed by the Via Francigena and famous in the world for Dante quote that enhances its round walls and precious crown of towers.
Acrobats, magicians, storytellers, good food to turn a summer evening in a whirlwind of emotions.
“… the most beautiful, grand and magnificent … that was ever done.” So Giorgio Vasari called it the floor of the Cathedral of Siena, the result of a program that was built through the ages, from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century.
The Cathedral of Siena contains numerous masterpieces of all time. The work, for most outstanding verses, is the floor, the most beautiful …, large and magnificent … that was ever done, as defined by Giorgio Vasari, the result of a program that has been carried through the ages , starting from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century. The preparatory cartoons for the fifty inlays were provided by important artists, all Senesi, except the Umbrian painter Bernardino di Betto, known as Pinturicchio, author in 1505 of the inlay with Mount of Wisdom.
The technique used to transfer the idea of the various artists on the floor is of marble inlay and graffito. It began in a simple way, and then gradually reach a surprising perfection: the first inlays were dashed above white marble slabs with grooves made with the chisel and the drill, filled with black filler. This technique is called sgraffito. Then they added colored marbles combined together as in a wooden inlays: this technique is called marble inlay.
In the living heart of Tuscany, where tradition and modernity come together in a unique, magical landscape, there is a particularly effective way to travel, enjoying to the full the charm of those places. Drawn with a brush on the modern “steel horses”, the bike tours that wind along the hills of Siena allow you to practice an itinerant tourism that adds to the discovery of the territory the refreshing breeze of adventure.
Following the route of the “White Roads of the Eroica” – the legendary cycling event born to recover the authenticity of the cycling of the past – you have the opportunity to drive on different road surfaces, from asphalt to white gravel dirt, in a continuous alternation between man’s work and the genuineness of nature. Elements to be found, just as vivid, in the surrounding landscape: from the deep green nature around Montalcino, to the glimpses of medieval villages like Torrenieri, Bellaria, Castelmuzio, Montisi and Buonconvento, from the Chianti vineyards to the phenomenal aesthetic heights of an art city like Siena.
For those who want to travel the magnificent Via Francigena, which connects Canterbury to Rome and already appeared in the Middle Ages as one of the main directives of Christian pilgrimage, Hotel More di Cuna is an ideal base, since it’s centrally located into the 450km long “Tuscan section.” With three sites nominated as UNESCO World Heritage (Siena, San Gimignano, Montalcino), a town center included in the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy (Buonconvento) and three countries Orange flags of the Italian Touring Club (Certaldo, and Monteriggioni radicofani), the result could only be only one: the extraordinary union between a vibrant and winding route and a historical-architectural stunning sight.
In this charming corner of Tuscany, another route that gives true satisfactions to bikers is the one linked to the Via Cassia, one of the most important lines of communication of the Peninsular Roman Empire.
A symphony of olive trees and vines that run along gentle slopes surrounded by castles sings the beauty of this land. Just to name a few: the castle of Bibbione overlooking the Val di Pesa, the one of Tignano with its high walls glazed by the sun, or the one in Staggia, where the strength of the ramparts and the elegance of the embattled tower are combined for almost ten centuries. Driving south, some of the greatest architectural, historical and naturalistic gems continue to parade sumptuous, reaching the peak of this bike tour: the lush cypress grove of San Quirico d’Orcia, the delicate poetry of the hills of the Val d’Orcia and the massif of Mount Amiata more than 1700m tall, that welcomes in his powerful embrace a true constellation of medieval fortified towns and villages.